LIVE with Virtues efforts are aimed at peacebuilding via education, conflict transformation and reconciliation.
We need ways to transform Australian schools and workplaces and the community at large into safer and happier environments. LIVE with Virtues works to develop a culture of character where respect, patience, self-discipline, tolerance, and joy for life and learning are among the virtues we all master.
In the last approx 50 years, the pursuit of values has become evermore promoted and popularised in Australia. On the face of it, the pursuit of values appears certainly a noble thing. However, as a values driven culture becomes further embedded, many now face the dilemma of how to introduce values and not offend people of diverse belief systems, including both the non-religious, as well as the various faith groups.Link Here
LIVE with Virtues is not about the practices or beliefs of any one religion; it encompasseses the universal virtues common to all faith groups. Based on timeless principles for living at our best, LIVE with Virtues benefits everyone. Its application will build a culture of character, where the ripple effects are felt for generations to follow...Link Here
LIVE with Virtues is a four step approach which provides simple tools to apply everyday to help make character education a natural part of one’s daily experience.
To create a culture of character does not involve changing the current curriculum, nor one’s work or personal schedules, or any such inconveniences. Rather the best results are found when the cultivation of the virtues is integrated into existing schedules, curriculums, disciple methods, and counselling experiences within the workplace, classroom or community operation, and also at home.
The Indigenous of North America speak of “Four Medicines” or personal powers we have:
Using the language of virtues as a framework for shaping character involves more than just speech. It is a way of thinking, a frame of reference, and a “frame of reverence” for relating to others in light of their innate dignity. It requires:
Note: This does not mean being perfect. We may need to ask for Forgiveness or if we are having a bad day we can ask for others Cooperation, for example, admitting we are not feeling Patient.
The following is a simple introduction to the four key strategies of LIVE with Virtues, which when applied will help bring out the best in any community..
Speak the language of virtues to acknowledge: The objective of acknowledging the virtues is to build authentic self-esteem and encourage virtues in others when you see them. There are three fundamental steps to using the power of language to awaken innate virtues in each other to help bring out the best in people
Intelligence plus character- that is the true goal of education - Martin Luther King Jr.
People don’t necessarily need special classes on character. In fact, most of the best lessons on character can occur within the context of daily learning and living.
Virtues are the best tools for developing social skills , since they embody the reason one must interact well with others - to be kind, to be caring, to be a good friend, to be responsible and so on.
In this multicultural world, focusing on virtues is a respectful way to address meaning and the mastery of character, which are basic elements of true spirituality and real religion. Virtues give us a common language for addressing the spiritual dimension. This is essential in a pluralistic society in which people may or may not be religious, and if they embrace a faith, they are likely to be of various differing faiths. True spirituality or religion is a specific code or system of belief. Values are things we think are important, and tend to be culture specific. Virtues are universally valued by all cultures.
The most empowering way to create a safe, caring, respectful learning environment is not only to require it but to inspire it. We can inspire meaning and mastery as well as “enthusiastic loyalty” to our group , organisation, or home life in so many ways such as:
1) Seeing the potential virtues in everyone
2) Creating a shared Vision Statement
3) Modeling the virtues we wish others to practice
4) Sharing stories, which are the keepers of meaning
5) Focusing on virtues in the arts
6) Having ceremonies to mark the beginning, endings and specific times
The way an authority role over another is used is the key in creating a culture of character.
Virtues Based Boundaries built on respect, peace, and justice are like a fence of safety within which there is freedom. The virtues of peace, justice, respect, kindness, and so on are the guideposts. Establishing Virtues Based Boundaries helps to create safe havens, within which people are free to be.
A Holistic Approach to Character Building
The most holistic approach to preventing violence is to create a culture of character, an atmosphere of inclusion, friendliness, mutual trust, caring and kindness where these virtues are valued as much as fame, academic achievement or fortune. Integral to a culture of caring is a disciplinary system, based on peace and justice, focused not on retribution, but restitution.